Love and Other Drugs

The film Love and Other Drugs stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway and is directed by Edward Zwick.  The plot of the film is that a guy named Jamie Randall who is a pharmaceutical representative for the Pfizer drug company and he falls for a woman named Maggie.  He initially falls for her because he wants the same thing she does a no strings attached relationship. The problem Jamie faces is that he begins to fall for Maggie.  He begins to care about her day and what she had for breakfast and how she feels in the morning.  The problem with Jamie caring so much is that Maggie has Parkinson’s disease and as she ages the condition will only further deteriorate her ability to move and function in society. Maggie has made the decision to not get attached to the men that she dates and sleeps with. Essentially the film is about Jamie’s journey to understand what it means to love and why loving someone is important.

This film is incredibly powerful in the fact that you have two very vulnerable people who essentially lie to themselves about who they are and fear who they will eventually become.  Jaime and Maggie essentially don’t know how to truly connect.  Maggie can’t connect with any guy because she doesn’t want to burden them with her problem of Parkinson’s Disease, and does not believe she can truly be loved so instead she runs from her feelings.  I love the fact that she runs because it’s an organic human instinct and I was surprised by the idea that she had such a thorough plan of exit.  Jaime’s problem is that he never learned to care for someone.  His life is focusing on getting in and getting out in terms of relationships.  He has never known the value of caring for someone.  Most of my enjoyment of this particular film comes from them learning about each other and how they care for each other in small amazing ways.  In the middle of the film Jaime has finally made it to Chicago and chooses at one point to go to a Parkinson’s disease convention where he learns how severe the disease can be from a guy who has to take care of his sick wife 24/7.  This motivates him to try and find treatments, clinical trials, anything that will lessen her symptoms and the hold this disease has on her.

Gyllenhaal’s performance as Jaime truly allowed me to see this character evolve into a better man than he was at the start of the film.  This film does have a few glaring problems however.  For one I believe that the sex humor got stale after the first eight jokes.  The one joke that still sticks with me is one where Oliver Platt’s character, a friend and mentor to Jaime, mentions an aside about being molested by a care bear.  The sex scenes in the film feel too grotesque and not honest expressions of love and care.  Mostly the scenes feel like rushed understated experiences and it would be nice if I felt like that had an evolution as well.  Instead of having it entirely be slam bam thank you ma’am, showcase tender expressive moments as they grow to care about each other.

The problems of this film don’t kill the beauty of people connecting with one another on a deep level, I think this is a solid film that deserves one viewing and possibly a second viewing to maybe allow you to find your own way of connecting with someone you care about.

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